Choosing the day or week of the month to close escrow on your house purchase can have significant advantages. If you are the buyer, you might prefer to close toward the end of the month and avoid pre-paid interest on your new mortgage. Sellers often prefer to close on the first of the month and receive their sales proceeds early on in order to accommodate their purchase of a replacement house or moving plans.
When the purchase contract is signed, both parties will agree to a closing date that seems reasonable. The date should allow the seller time to settle any outstanding liens on the property or deal with estate or probate issues. It should also allow the buyer time to apply and obtain a mortgage, review the inspection and title reports and make arrangements to come up with any additional funds necessary at closing.
When choosing a date, keep these things in mind:
1. Give Your Lender Enough Time
Unless you are paying cash for your new home, you will need to consider a date that is convenient for the mortgage lender as well as buyer and seller.
Mortgage lending is a lengthy process that requires the various players to coordinate many different steps. If you do not allow enough time, the closing date might arrive before your financing is approved.
You also want to make sure that the closing occurs before the lender’s loan commitment expires so you can take advantage the promised interest rate. If the date occurs too late, you might have to negotiate a new rate or even the entire loan package.
2. Coordinate the Date with Your Scheduled Move
Plan your closing date to coincide with the actual move from your old residence to your new house. Ideally you want to move from one to the other without a stop at a hotel in-between. While reducing the first interest payment can be a smart move, it is pointless to save that money if you will not be using the property for two or three weeks following the close.
3. Close a Day or Two Before the Last Day of the Month.
The last day of the month is always the most popular closing date. One of the main reasons is that the purchaser pays interest in advance for the remainder of the month, so closing on the last day of the month reduces the cash to close figure. However, this creates a very stressful situation, as both title companies and lenders have numerous tasks to perform and there is no room for delays or errors. Closing a day or two earlier only increases the costs by a day or two of interest, but it allows for a more relaxed closing.
4. Avoid Closing on Friday
While Fridays are popular closing dates, you should avoid them if possible. Many purchasers prefer to move in over the weekend, so closing on a Friday makes sense but is also typically busy for both title companies and lenders, making delays more likely. Plus, if something goes wrong on a Friday and settlement must be pushed, it will have to be rescheduled for a Monday, three days later. Thursdays are typically not nearly as busy, so both the title company and the lender can give your closing more attention and time. Also, if something goes wrong, the closing can be pushed to Friday, only one day later.
5. If You Must Close on a Friday, Select a Morning Time
Friday mornings tend to go smoothly. It is the afternoons that become a bit crazy. Wires have time to be sent and received, and if there is a delay or a problem, there is time to push the closing back.
6. Make Sure You Do Not Choose a Holiday or Right Before a Holiday
Make sure the date you choose is not a holiday. This sounds obvious, but there are a lot of smaller holidays that are regional or more popular in certain areas. It never hurts to consult the calendar.
7. Coordinate with the Utilities
If you have ever been without electricity, water and natural gas for more than a day, you know that this is an experience you would rather not live through again. Check with your new utility companies to ensure they can service you on the closing date.
Tax Advantages to Consider When Choosing a Closing Date
In some cases, you may want to consider postponing your closing until the following tax year. You should review your tax liabilities for the current tax year and ask your financial adviser or accountant whether taking additional deductions in the current or future year would be most beneficial to you.
You may not be able to postpone your closing, but it might be worthwhile asking to see if the benefit would be substantial. Your accountant can calculate the items at closing that will be tax-deductible and those that will be added to the value of the property. The normal allowable home purchase deductions will be the points, interest and property taxes.
WHY CHOOSE CITRUS HERITAGE ESCROW?
When choosing an escrow company there can be many important factors to evaluate. Fees, location, staff and even recommendations from friends and colleagues are all things to consider. With Citrus Heritage Escrow by your side, you can rest assured that when you receive your settlement check, you have gained the maximum benefit from your home sale or purchase.
Call us today with any questions or concerns. Our professional Escrow Agents will help you through this exciting yet confusing process. (951) 335-7200